Week of May 20th 2012
What is keeping us from experiencing authentic community?
Authentic community occurs when the real you meets real needs for the right reasons in the right way.-Chip Ingram
In past weeks we talked about not worrying about pleasing people and finding our self-worth in their approval. Several times now you have heard (or read) about how important Action is in serving God. We shouldn’t just say but actually do. Chip Ingram tells us in this chapter about a time when he was young and his pastor called him out on his misguided motive for serving. The general concept of his story is very common. We all want to be liked, appreciated, and recognized for a job well done, but all of those things are just self gratifying. We can’t be serving God, if in the back of our minds we really are looking for a pat on the back. In this chapter we have been challenged to check our motives by how we respond to not getting the pat on the back.
Secondly think about the verse we just studied last week. Being devoted in brotherly love and honoring each other above our self. Now read the verse at the top of the page. Never be lacking Zeal means never being lazy! Chip defines laziness as not doing what you know needs to be done, when it needs to be done. If we know that there is a brother or sister of ours who needs help but we are lacking zeal and fervor, because possibly we “just don’t feel like it” then how are we honoring them in brotherly love with the servant heart that we have been called to have in Romans 12?
It is important to keep these things in mind and do some self-evaluation. Here are some questions to meditate and pray on. Are you serving God passionately by putting yourself aside and focusing a loving heart on how you can help your brothers and sisters, and not what you can get out of it? Have you fallen short in being authentic in your community and need God to help you realize your motives? How will you apply this into a real, devoted, loving change in your community?
All Mighty Father,
We thank you for never lacking zeal or fervor when it comes to loving us. Show us how to make change in our lives and focus pure motives for serving you. Let your Spirit guide us to those who need our help, and give us the love to serve passionately; so that glory will be given to you and you only. In the Saviors name, Amen